It's the weekend, and as usual all the digital distributors are slashing their prices to tempt you to part ways with your cash. The Bargain Bucket is your guide to what cheap games are cheapest and worth your time. Remember to regularly check SavyGamer.co.uk for all of your cheap gaming needs. Who needs piracy when games are this cheap?
Stick to the multiplayer and play as part of a team and you've got one of the PC's finest gaming experiences. The assault, tug of war and domination game modes provide enough variation that you're forced to take on a slightly different play style for each (the Battlefield-like Domination is what I prefer, I must admit), which means there's always scope for getting a little better at your game. It seems like a truism that playing against other people is always more interesting, but the difference is particularly stark here. No matter how polished and impressive the single-player campaign has become - or how hardcore, given that Soviet Assault introduces another tier of difficulty - other human players are always a better opponent.
VVVVVV & Trine - £6.95/€7.62/$9.49
A pair of wonderful platformers, that are great for very different reasons. Trine is a lush fantasy sidescroller, where you can swap in realtime between three different characters, who's abilities you'll need to use in a physics puzzley solvey fashion. There's the big bloke with the sword and shield, the thief lady with a bow and arrow, and the magician who can insert physics objects into the level, and levitate blocks. Then VVVVVV, which....well I'm sorry. I'm sorry to anyone I've ever recommended this to. It's fantastic, it's really good, but it's equally infuriating. VVVVVV successfully removes random chance from the equation, all that determines your success is your own platforming prowess. When you get stuck, it's because you're not good enough at it yet. Keep at it though, you'll get there eventually. Probably.
This will split the Supreme Commander 2 fanbase in two. The game's made enormous compromises, but it's also brought in a superb sense of mayhem and variety. On the one hand it's a shame that it's going to leave much of its intended fanbase cold, but on the other there's nothing especially wrong with the first game, so stick with that if you don't like the sound of this. It hasn't aged particularly, and no-one else has stolen its thunder yet. There is absolutely no reason why it and its sequel can't co-exist, providing two related but critically different strategy flavours. Supreme Commander 2, after all, is an RTS about choice - that might as well apply to the game itself too.
Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild West & Shattered Horizon – £9.99/€12.49/$12.49
Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild West – £4.99/€7.49/$7.49 (also available as a 4 pack for £3.75/€5.62/$5.62 each)
Shattered Horizon – £7.49/€9.99/$9.99 (also available as a 4 pack for £5.62/€5.62/$7.50 each)
A pair of multiplayer centric human killing simulators, with vastly different settings. Lead and Gold is Cowboys of one colour fighting the other coloured cowboys, either in straight deathmatch, or collect the gold, blow up their thing and a few other gametypes. Good fun, and the rifles are rather nice. Shattered Horizon takes us to infinity and beyond, as a team of spacemen fight with another team of spacemen. In space. Aside from having a rather swish HUD, the biggest thing setting Shattered Horizon apart from other similar games is that there is no gravity, and there is no up. It's disorientating enough that you have to think about your movement quite a lot, but once you've got the hang of it, you can pull off some great manoeuvres. Both are free to play this weekend, so you can have a dabble before parting with your cash. I wonder if we'll ever see the developer of the next pick's Cowboy game ever end up on the PC box.
Deal of the week
Grand Theft Auto 1, 2, 3, Vice City & San Andreas – £4.99/€7.49/$7.49
Grand Theft Auto 3, PC – £1.49/€2.49/$2.49
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City – £1.49/€2.49/$2.49
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas – £2.49/€3.74/$3.74
Three entire 3D megacities for you to do whatever you want in, as long as it fits within the incredibly rigid mission design. I jest of course, you do get a bit of freedom in these games, I just always felt that they would have really benefited if the sandbox design of the world also applied to the missions. If instead of being given a mission that told me to go from A to B, stand in a specific place, and shoot a specific person at a specific time with a specific gun, why not let me tail them across an entire city, and let me decide how I want to kill them? If you played these on a console originally, they are a lot prettier on today's super computers, and a fiver for the entire pack is a great price. The first two games are still available as freeware here. Did anyone pay attention to whether Rockstar are still providing outdated versions of their games on Steam? After removing the most up to date, but NOCD cracked versions. Last I heard, some people were still having audio issues with, I think, Vice City.
You lot have opinions right? I'm sure I've seen evidence of this in the comments section in the past. Over on SavyGamer, voting has just opened for the SavyGamer Awards 2010, where we are collectively praising and scorning the best and worst value Retailers, Publishers and Developers. Have your say now.
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